Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for December, 2006

Thank you

I would like to thank all my loyal readers for a great year. In just over 11 months, the Healthcare Economist blog has greatly expanded and now attracts over 500 visits (and over 2000 hits) per day. People from all over the world read this blog. The national readership list includes the following countries: Albania, […]

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Type I vs. Type II errors

One of the basic concepts in statistics is the use mathematically rigorous tests to determine whether or not a researcher can reject their null hypothesis. The null hypothesis is the state of the world the researcher assumes exists. The alternative hypothesis is—as the name suggests—an alternative to the null hypothesis. Through these statistical tests, researchers […]

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Matt Miller on Marketplace

Matt Miller was on NPR’s Marketplace on Tuesday.  Miller was advocating the creation of a government controlled health system.  While his arguments citing the benefits of nationalized health care are compelling, he does not address some of the drawbacks (e.g.: decreased technological innovation in a single payer system, increased risk of corruption, etc.). The most […]

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Influenza Vaccination: Part VI

A week ago, we looked at Nichol’s 2003 paper regarding LAIV for healthy working adults. Today we will review the rest of the literature regarding the effectiveness and the economic impact of influenza vaccination for working-aged adults. The seminal work in the literature is written by Nichol and colleagues in the October 1995 edition of […]

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Economist’s Books of the Year 2006

The Economist magazine has posted its Books of the year list for 2006.

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Physician licensure and quality: Part IIX

In The Social Transformation of American Medicine, author Paul Starr analyzes the development of modern American medicine. A large portion of the book looks at the roots of physician licensure. His analysis dates back to the colonial era. Some important turning points in the history of physician licensure before the twentieth century are: In the […]

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Are you rich?

In the Economist’s December 9th issue, the magazine reviews (“The wealth of nations…“) a World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) effort to measure how personal wealth (i.e.: financial assets, real estate, consumer durables, livestock) was distributed throughout the world. If you have just over $2000 in net assets to your name, you can be […]

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Influenza Vaccination: Part V

A final analysis of the cost of flu vaccination is provided to us by Margaret Coleman, John Fontanesi and colleagues (2004). The authors examine the cost of the vaccination for different size practices in a scheduled visit and walk-in setting. Unlike most studies, this research team decided to applied overhead expenses to cost of vaccinations. […]

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Senator Wyden’s Health Care Plan

Yesterday I was invited to a small-group conversation with Senator Ron Wyden regarding the Healthy Americans Act that was recently proposed.  Unfortunately I could not make it the conference, but Senator Wyden’s own Stand Tall for America website gives some (very biased) details and analysis of the plan.  Joe Paduda of Managed Care Matters has […]

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‘When I was just 3 years old, I asked my mother why she didn’t love me’

A touching and compelling story about tuberculosis in the United States can be found in last Sunday’s Washington Post (“Quarantined“).  The mother of the author spent 114 days in the Glenn Dale Hospital, which during the 1950s functioned as a sanatorium for people with TB. The article states that 2 million people die from tuberculosis […]

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